“But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.”
II Corinthians 8:11-14
I bake chocolate chip cookies for many different people. I do this because I enjoy baking and it shows my love for others. There are a few people in my life that have been the recipients of chocolate chip cookies and there is an understanding between us. I’ve told them when their container is empty; they can return it to be filled back up. One friend has managed to latch onto two containers so my baking for him is nearly endless. I admit that I wouldn’t have it any other way.
So, the container idea has taken off and just this summer, I gifted another special person with a chocolate chip cookie box. My good friend and co-worker, Kelly Wathen was diagnosed with leukemia during the 2010 Christmas holiday. Kelly has struggled for months as he has endured treatments and side effects of the medicine and the leukemia. For several months, Kelly didn’t desire much in the line of food and that was certainly understandable. However, I went out on a limb and baked him a batch of chocolate chip cookies in July. I had my crafty nieces design a box with hunting stickers to store the cookies in. Honestly, I thought it was a long shot that he would even want to eat the cookies. I gave them to him and explained the process for receiving more cookies.
Three days later, Kelly hunted me down at a mutual friend’s house to return the cookie box. It warmed my heart to know that he wanted more cookies. I baked him another batch and he convinced the principal of our school to bring him to my house to pick them up. Again, within a few days, the box was returned. I went to Kroger and bought fresh chocolate chips, brown sugar, and vanilla. I filled the box—to the brim with cookies. It has become my mission to keep Kelly with a fresh supply of chocolate chip cookies for as long as he desires to have them.
I just always seem to have what I need to bless the lives of others with my baking. As I bake more and more, my supplies are increasing and on any given day, I can whip up a batch of my secret recipe chocolate chip cookies. Yesterday, I was teaching Math and my principal walked into my classroom. She had Kelly’s cookie box. Needless to say, it was empty again. I was so excited! Another opportunity to sweeten his life. Not only did she have his cookie box, but she also had chocolate chips—a 72 ounce bag of chocolate chips! The message that Kelly sent was: “Tell her that this doesn’t mean she has to bake more cookies for me.” Even in the midst of his great trial, Kelly gave back to me in a way that he knew would touch my life and the lives of others. He is always the one putting a smile back on my face…reminding me that he is still on top of his game.
My original gift of chocolate chip cookies was complimented by his gift of chocolate chips. That gift will impact the lives of many people that I love because I will be able to bake dozens of cookies from that bag of chocolate chips. The love and the sweetness have multiplied and the giving has far surpassed anything that I originally had in my plans or my heart. A ridiculously jumbo bag of chocolate chips will help create the ooey gooey goodness that puts a sweet feeling in the tummy of many people.